After last week’s discouraging news on the extinction of the eastern cougar, it’s nice to hear about a critically endangered species hanging in there. Even better, it’s nice to see it.
World Wildlife Fund-Indonesia (WWF) just released some exciting rare images of the Javan rhinoceros, captured by motion-activated video cameras. Less than 60 Java rhinos remain in the world, and are now only believed to be found in Ujung Kulon National Park in western Indonesia, according to WWF.
The videos captured a female and her calf peacefully browsing through the rainforest vegetation — normal, everyday behavior for one of the most endangered mammals on earth.
The camera footage reveals once in a lifetime glimpses of this powerful, yet gentle-looking animal. You can even make out the rhino’s armor-like skin, an appearance created by the way the skin folds.
Although these images give us encouragement, the rhinos still face serious threats from poaching or habitat loss, and the entire population (and therefore species) could be wiped out by any major disaster (natural or man-made). The video-traps are part of a WWF and park official monitoring project, which uses local people in the hope to reduce poaching and inspire protection for the rhino.